Virtually every sector of the economy is affected by the government. Fates, futures, and bottom lines often shift substantially as a result of governmental decisions. Those who can shape decisions have a competitive edge. To achieve their goals, companies and other organizations need timely and relevant information and the ability to identify and access the right government officials about issues and proposed legislation or regulations that affect them.
The K&L Gates policy group operates at the intersection of public policy, law, and business. Founded over four decades ago, at a time when few law firms had lobbying practices, the policy group has grown from a single lobbyist to become the largest of any fully integrated global law firm.
A number of publications, including Chambers USA and Legal 500, have ranked the practice as one of the premier policy practices in the nation. Most recently, in their 2015 edition, Chambers USA has acknowledged the group as, “An established and experienced government relations practice, with noted global reach and strength in depth.” In July 2014, K&L Gates was ranked among the top five law firms in the National Law Journal's Influence 50 survey.
The team’s successes are built on a philosophy that emphasizes a deeply substantive and teamwork-based approach to public policy. Our goal is to understand a policy issue from every direction—substantively and politically—and to use the collective knowledge and experience of our team to help our client achieve their objectives and successfully maneuver through the policy lifecycle: legislation to regulation and dispute resolution. This approach has worked for four decades, which is why the policy group has thrived through eight administrations and 22 Congresses. Likewise, our state policy practice can effectively meet clients’ needs in states with dynamic political climates.
The Public Policy and Law group has nearly 50 bipartisan lawyers and policy professionals with 500 years of combined experience in federal and state government. We also help solve clients’ policy and regulatory needs around the globe, with offices in world capitals in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Our state policy practice has a strategic geographic footprint, with regional headquarters in Pennsylvania, Texas, and North Carolina. Our members include:
Our team includes numerous others, including the former general counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency; a Democratic National Committee member; and White House officials, congressional committee counsels, senior executive branch officials, congressional chiefs of staff, leadership staff, senior counsel at various government agencies, senior gubernatorial aides, military officials, and others.
A Policy Team with a Global ReachMembers of our Public Policy group join forces with our Global Government Solutions® practice and together, provide a uniquely effective set of capabilities to help clients deal with governments around the world. Our Global Government Solutions® initiative brings together lawyers from various practice disciplines located in fully integrated offices in the primary political, commercial, and financial centers of North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, and South America, including 13 world capitals.
Our geographic reach, coupled with the depth and breadth of our practice, positions us to advance client interests efficiently and effectively and to develop and execute coordinated strategies in multiple locations. Our widespread global network allows us the opportunity to respond to clients’ needs in a timely manner, delivering exceptional service by an experienced team not affected by cross-border limitations.
In their 2013 guide, Chambers said, “The firm's global government solutions initiative relies on smart interaction between offices worldwide. This service is ideally suited to support clients whose policy objectives extend beyond the USA.”
Our firm is experienced in representing defense industry clients in federal business development, budget processes and acquisition, government contract law, and litigation. Our team has been successful in creating and implementing plans of action for clients that improve their competitive edge, effectively leveraging new opportunities, and strengthening and diversifying their business base in warfighter technologies, including aerospace, information technology, biotechnology, nanotechnology, logistics, and the full range of national security policy and appropriations matters.
Our team includes the former assistant secretary for international affairs at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, as well as former Army, Navy, and Air Force officers with years of combined experience working with Congress’ Armed Services and Defense Appropriations Committees. Our numbers also include the former general counsel of the Central Intelligence Agency and the counselor to the secretary and deputy secretary of defense, in addition to former members of Congress. Our professionals are experienced with the complex government defense interagency process which includes the Department of Intelligence, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Department of State, and the White House.
Our lawyers have considerable legislative and administrative experience in the laws governing environmental policy. Our work in this arena includes issues concerning the cleanup, shipping, and handling of hazardous materials; the reauthorization, implementation, and enforcement of Superfund, RCRA, and federal facility agreements; cleanup of federal sites; and the Safe Drinking Water, Endangered Species, Clean Water, and Clean Air Acts. In particular, we have extensive experience with policy issues relating to the storage, disposal, transportation, and management at Department of Energy (DOE) federal sites of nuclear materials, including high- and low-level radioactive waste and mixed waste, as well as regulatory and policy issues before the Environmental Protection Agency, including actions on greenhouse gas emissions, and hazardous and solid waste policies.
We also have a leading energy policy practice focused on the U.S. Congress, the DOE, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The firm serves as principal outside counsel for prominent investor-owned utilities on the full array of federal policy and regulatory issues concerning transmission, rates, and regulatory matters. For a broad range of industry clients, we have been active in successfully lobbying for the inclusion of amendments to most of the major energy statutes enacted over the past 25 years, including the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Our energy experience includes electricity competition and regional transmission markets; nuclear power R&D; indemnification, liability, and radioactive waste; hydropower licensing; clean coal technology; renewable energy (especially biofuels, solar, and wind); federal appropriations for energy technologies and DOE-managed facilities; federal tax incentives for renewable energy resources; and technology development (e.g., fuels cells, hydrogen, and energy storage).
The financial services policy practice provides clients with the full spectrum of policy analysis and insights, strategic counsel, and advocacy to advance policy objectives. With financial services regulation taking an increasingly international dimension, we are well positioned to assist our clients in engaging with domestic and foreign regulators and legislative bodies. K&L Gates’ lawyers and professionals from multiple practice areas around the globe offer a full spectrum of services relating to financial and capital markets issues, including public policy, derivatives, commodities futures, depository institutions, broker-dealers, securities trading, securitization, hedge funds, insurance, annuities, investment banking, investment management, mortgage banking, cybersecurity, and consumer finance.
In an increasingly competitive and dynamic marketplace in which the rules are changing, a multifaceted strategy is an integral part of many business plans. An effective strategy seamlessly integrates legislative, regulatory, and litigation components. We solve clients’ most difficult problems by understanding policy issues from every direction—substantively and politically—and navigating the halls of governmental decision makers to ensure that the interests of our clients are effectively represented where and when it matters most. We work regularly with the key Congressional committees and leadership, as well as the CFPB, CFTC, Departments of Treasury and Labor, FDIC, FINRA, FHFA, FRB, FSOC, HUD/FHA, OCC, SEC, and the White House. Our team has extensive experience in challenging agency actions and regulations in the courts. Additionally, we provide substantive and strategic counsel with regard to proposals from the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Parliament, as well as BCBS, EBA, FSB, ESMA, EIOPA, IAIS, and IOSCO.
Our firm has been deeply involved in advancing information technology issues in Washington, D.C., on Capitol Hill, before the executive branch, at the regulatory agencies, and in the courts. Our lawyers and professionals are on the leading edge of the revolutionary changes in IT that are creating unprecedented challenges to the way government and the private sector operate. We have helped limit regulation of the Internet, keep cybersecurity market-driven and industry-led, protect intellectual property rights while preventing government mandates, guard privacy while enabling ecommerce, modernize government contracting, facilitate and protect innovative mergers, and assist companies develop cybersecurity policies and procedures and respond to data breaches.
We have been at the forefront of the new wave of commercial spaceflight activity, helping commercial spaceflight companies and their industry association ensure the creation of a supportive legal and regulatory environment while promoting safety. We helped NASA transition to a commercial approach for cargo and crew access to the International Space Station, and are helping incentivize private exploration and use of outer space.
We helped raise the visibility and importance of nanotechnology issues among government policymakers and understand the landscape of opportunities and challenges facing nanotechnology companies. We work with a number of nanotechnology companies to obtain federal funding for nanotechnology research and development, manage government contracts, secure capital, handle intellectual property, and ensure regulatory compliance.
We work with a number of companies that are addressing the world’s growing water problem with technology. From new methods of desalination and filtering to the application of “smart grid” principles to water, we help create the legal and regulatory space for innovation in an industry that values stability.
In the field of neurotechnology, we have helped design and implement a major interagency initiative to expand and coordinate research and development of groundbreaking new drugs, devices, and diagnostics to treat or cure Alzheimer’s, ALS, and other diseases of the central nervous system.
Our team advises domestic and international clients who are focused on improving sustainability through infrastructure development, energy generation, reusability, or efficiency. We help create legal and regulatory opportunities for innovative sustainable technologies to compete with less-sustainable incumbent technologies on a level playing field.
K&L Gates has a long history of developing innovative and lasting alliances with its clients in solving problems that arise before state governments. Companies and organizations often call upon K&L Gates to manage state government-relations matters for them in multiple states or regions. K&L Gates’ clients can count on several things: a well-known knowledge of the state public policy process, an advocacy strategy that is based on familiarity with the way decisions are made, and an attitude of wanting to help clients build their identity in the halls of state capitals in a positive way.
Our North Carolina public policy group successfully assists companies and organizations with efficiently navigating, and anticipating, laws and regulations promulgated by state and local governments. Led by a former member of the governor’s legislative team and assisted by experienced legal professionals in a variety of areas, we provide representation on legislative strategy and lobbying, regulatory rulemaking, and ethics and political campaign finance law.
In Pennsylvania, the firm’s state legislative and executive branch lobbying team is led by a former secretary of legislative affairs to the governor, who also served in a host of senior positions within the Pennsylvania governor’s office, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, as well as a U.S. senator. The team also includes a senior corporate executive who, as president of one of Pennsylvania’s largest regulated utilities, managed successful legislative and regulatory strategies and has served as board chairman for regional and state-wide business organizations. The lawyers and professionals comprising our Pennsylvania practice were involved in the creation and evolution of many of the state programs, laws, and regulations that are relevant to client priorities and, as a result, can bring particular insight to bear on behalf of the client.
In Texas, the members of the state public policy team have worked together for many years on a number of projects that have been among the most challenging that any client can face. K&L Gates’ lobbyists are well-skilled in their trade, having acquired their experience from working in prominent positions in the legislature and executive branches of Texas government or with Fortune 500 companies. They are a group of experienced and well-known public policy advocates who are backed up by a secure support system of resources, personnel, and technology.
K&L Gates has long advocated for Pacific Northwest businesses, associations, economic development groups, public utilities, ports, cities, universities, and other public and private institutions in the U.S. capital. Our Seattle office was founded more than 130 years ago with the mission of providing the highest quality of service for people and businesses in the Pacific Northwest; today, K&L Gates has the largest public policy practice of any firm with a significant presence in the Pacific Northwest.
We also possess active state and local public policy practices in California, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, and have advised numerous clients regarding state and local public policy priorities in nearly every state. Specifically in Massachusetts, our public policy group works closely with the governor and his Administration, as well as members of the legislature and their staff. The group has provided legislative analysis and development services as well as assisting with direct lobbying to a broad range of clients.
A Guide to Political and Lobbying Activities